When I tell people that we use cloth nappies, I always get one of two reactions. The first is that screwed up ewwwww that’s disgusting face. The second is “how do you have the time???” I think cloth nappies are starting to become more and more popular amongst new mums than ever before, people are really starting to think about the effects of disposable nappies on our planet and want to do their bit to help. I get so many questions from people on my social media about where to start so I thought I would use this post to talk about our cloth nappies and how we got started, as well as using it as a way to signpost you to some helpful articles and websites.
Choosing the right type of nappy for you
Cloth nappies have come a long way since the days of terry squares closed with a pin. Although these are still an option which many use, you now have all in one nappies, pocket nappies, two part nappies, all in twos and prefolds, the list is quite frankly endless. This is something only you can decide. I’m going to signpost you here to The Nappy Lady, who shares some helpful tips on advice on how to choose the right nappy for you. Just because something works for me and my child, doesn’t mean that it will work for you.
There is also the option of a trial kit, which is a kit you trial that has several styles of nappy in to help you come to a decision on which is right for you. The Nappy Lady does an Ultimate 30 day trial kit, as does Fill Your Pants. There is also the option of contacting your local nappy library, who may be able to arrange a trial/hire kit for you.
I think this is also a good place to mention that some Local Authorities have Cloth Nappy schemes, where you can get trial packs or vouchers towards the cost of them. Make sure you also check that out first before you buy/trial anything. It’s a good place to start when researching what is available and trialing what you think may work for you and your baby.
Our Cloth Nappies
I chose to use pocket nappies during the daytime for Arthur. For nighttime we chose a two part nappy, which I will get onto in a little while.
Daytime – Pocket nappies
I think these for me were the least intimidating, I liked the fact that they were birth to potty and that you stuffed them with inserts yourself. I had read alot about different materials and absorbency, so I thought that this would help us try different combinations of materials to find what worked for us.
The nappy basically just has a pocket at the back and you stuff this with inserts. I currently use 1 Microfiber insert and 1 Bamboo insert. The poppers on the front mean you can change the size of the nappy, and it can grow with your child and help you get a good fit.
These nappies usually last between 2 and 3 hours before we need to change them and since we have 30 we wash every 2 to 3 days and this works well for us.
I bought 30 Little and Bloomz pocket nappies off Ebay, they were around £4 each and came with a microfiber insert each. I then bought 30 Bamboo inserts separately to go with them. They come in a lovely range of prints and also plain colours depending on what you like. So far they have been great, I definitely recommend them however they may not be the best choice if you are Eco conscious as they are manufactured in China I believe.
To catch the smelly nasties during the day we use paper liners, which I buy online from Babipur. This means you can easily just scoop out the poop and dispose of it.
Night time – Two Part Nappies
As our pocket nappies only last a few hours, we had to look for something different to use and night meaning Arthur could be in cloth full time. There are so many options, but since I knew bamboo was more absorbent, I chose to try out the Little Lamb two part nappies.
I ordered them as a trial kit, so I got the shaped nappy, the fleece insert and the wrap all in one. You can buy the nappies separately and choose which wrap you want to use though if this suits you.
So as you can see, these are way different to the pocket nappies. The shaped nappy is the absorbent part made from bamboo, and it has an extra layer sewn in which you can fold etc. I fold it up near the front as this is where Arthurs wee tends to land. You then put the fleece liner between the nappy and the skin and basically just put it on as you would a disposable. Once the shaped nappy is on, you add a waterproof wrap over the top and bam all done.
I like the Little Lamb wraps personally, but again it does depend on the size of your child. Arthur is really small for his age and at 18 months is only just about outgrowing 9-12 months clothing.
Little Lamb two-part nappies are sold in three sizes. Size 1 fit from 7lbs to 20lbs or most newborns to around 9 months. Size 2 fit from 20lbs to 38lbs or around 9 months to the potty stage and Size 3 fit from 30lbs upwards. Arthur has always been in Size 2 and is showing no signs of needing to change anytime soon.
These nappies are seriously bombproof. We have never had a leak at all and Arthur can sometimes be asleep at night for 12 hours. I also know plenty of people who use these nappies for day time as well and the beauty of that is that you can change the shaped nappy and then just pop the same wrap over it.
The only downside I see to these is that eventually your child may need to size up, so cost wise that is something to bear in mind.
So as a rule in our house, we probably do a nappy wash every three days, although we could probably go longer than this now. When Arthur was younger and using more of his nappies we were washing maybe once every 1-2 days. I do a full pre-wash cycle followed by a 60 degree full wash with biological detergent. We have no stinks or stains and our nappies have taken no damage.
To store the nappies before washing, we use a Tots Bots Lockable Nappy bucket. This is great because it comes with laundry bags which you can just take out and put in the wash once it is full with nappies. So on Arthur is finished with a nappy, I just take out the inserts, pop it all into the bag inside bucket and close the lid until I am ready to do a wash.
Why use cloth?
Save money with cloth
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that you can save ALOT of money using cloth nappies. I think I initially spent around £200 on my WHOLE stash of nappies and that is it! The average child will wear 5,553 nappies costing on average of around £750 by the time they are out of them.
Which leads me onto my next point …
So I just told you that the average child will wear 5553 disposable nappies from birth to potty. Just one disposable nappy takes 500 years to degrade. Now think about the amount of nappies used each day and how long these are going to take to degrade. If there was ever a reason to switch to cloth nappies, this is it.
Where to get help and advice
There is a wealth of advice and information out there, you just have to know where to find it!
My first tip would be to check if there is a nappy library near you. This is basically just like a normal library except for all things cloth nappy! The people who run these are extremely knowledgeable and will be able to talk you through any questions you might have.
If this is not possible, use The Nappy Lady! The website if FULL of advice, from what type of nappy to fit guides and video demos, there is even a questionnaire you can fill in and you will receive a personal recommendation on what nappies may suit you and your little ones. It’s basically a nappy library but online!
Fill your pants also have a FREE nappy guide!!
Instagram has an ever growing community of cloth bum mums, one of my fave accounts is The Nappy Gurus – who want to help you on your cloth journey!
On Facebook, there is a wealth of cloth nappy dedicated groups, I am personally in Cloth Nappies Uk which I find is most relevant to me.
I hope you enjoyed finding out all about cloth nappies and that I have been successfully able to signpost you to some really helpful resources for cloth nappies. I am also happy to answer any questions you have about cloth nappies best I can. Leave your questions below or use the links on the top right to contact me on social media!!